Drinking The Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 23 2014

It’s not you, it’s me

I never thought I’d be one to leave a school mid-year. I am not a quitter and I’ve always prided myself on never giving up. But as the choices become more complex, and less black and white, I’ve realized that sometimes not giving up on a dream means walking away from something that you know is wrong for you.
Teaching is hard, no matter where you are. It requires a lot of heart and a deep-rooted faith in what you’re doing. And when you’re teaching in the poorest pockets of the most violent neighborhoods of Chicago, you need to find a sense of hope in something. Whether it’s the principal, your co-workers, or the organization you work for, there needs to something that gives you hope in what you’re fighting for each day. Especially in a world that gives you so much to be disheartened by and so little to be…

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Jul 11 2014

Something Out of Nothing

If I thought that life after my TFA years would get easier, I was sadly mistaken. While no one outside of my 22 coworkers will ever truly understand what we endured this year, all there is to do when looking back at this mess of a year is to laugh. Our hopes were high in…

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Jul 09 2013

Thoughts on Finishing TFA

SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/alymak/Desktop/final%20tfa%20post.doc For my final Teach for America meeting, I had to answer the question: “What would you tell yourself two years ago?” My message to myself began with “you are stupid, ignorant, and naive.” I have come so far from my bushy-tailed college graduate self and I have learned so much that it often feels…

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Feb 25 2013

Ring of Hope

This week had been one of those weeks. Amidst the Chicago Public Schools strike, hearing about thousands of teachers fighting for their rights, it was business as usual at my charter school. I found myself waking up at the crack of dawn, dreading what was to come. The weather dropped arguably 20 degrees overnight, it…

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Oct 12 2012

Room to Think

My corps experience pretty much goes like this: work around the clock while eating, sleeping, and breathing teaching, then have a break and recollect my thoughts. Right now I’m on fall break so my thoughts seem clear and I finally have a chance to think. In doing so I have been thinking about my opinions…

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Oct 12 2012

My Way or The Highway

When I was young, I spent most of my childhood playing school. I would make up worksheets, have fake parent-teacher conferences, grade fake papers. I went above and beyond as a ten year old, literally  completing a test for each imaginary kid. But that’s how I’ve always been: I didn’t do things the way people…

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Aug 28 2012

How I started to drink the Kool-Aid

When Teach for America speakers came up during our professional development days meant to inspire us with their uplifting stories, I would denounce what they said. I rejected the Teach for America jargon and ignored the success stories. We used to call it “drinking the kool-aid” (or still do) when someone had fallen under the…

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